How do you follow up a track like Voodoo Ray? Back in 1989, around nine months on from its first appearance in the clubs (and to coincide with its entry in the pop charts), Sounds sent John Robb to Moss Side, Manchester, to meet Gerald Simpson, aka A Guy Called Gerald, to uncover what the young producer had up his sleeve.
The following snippet is taken from the excellent Rock’s Back Pages library of classic interviews and articles.
…Gerald is moving the dance formulae away from the tedious pub band routines of just sampling James Brown. On his debut album, Hot Lemonade, samples have been culled from sources as bizarre as noise gods Negativland.
“I’m into all types of sounds. Negativland themselves use samples that suit the track, instead of using them for the sake of it. I work along similar lines.”
The search for more interesting sounds is inspiring A Guy Called Gerald to rather crazy stunts.
“Some time soon I’m going to climb onto the roof of the block that I live on and get my tape recorder, and tape one side of the building down one microphone and the other side of the building down the microphone. Then when I mix them, I’ll mix them down on both sides of the stereo.”…
But, 909originals can’t help wondering – what about Voodoo Ray?
“The single went down this week to something like number 57. The record label expect it to go up again next week. But personally I don’t really care as I’m sick of it. I want to get it out of my system. I mean, I’m dead chuffed about getting into the charts, but I want to do something else now…”